Physical and particle flow modeling of jointed rock block behavior under uniaxial loading

P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, Bwalya Malama, Jialai Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

162 Scopus citations


Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations, using Particle Flow Code (PFC3D), were performed to study the behavior of jointed blocks of model material under uniaxial loading. The effect of joint geometry parameters on the uniaxial compressive strength of jointed blocks was investigated and this paper presents the results of the experiments and numerical simulations. The fracture tensor component in a given direction is used to quantify the combined directional effect of joint geometry parameters including joint density, orientation and size distributions, and the number of joint sets. The variation of the uniaxial compressive strength of the jointed blocks of the model material with the fracture tensor component was investigated. Both the laboratory experiments and the numerical simulations showed that the uniaxial block strength decreases in a nonlinear manner with increasing values of the fracture tensor component. It was observed that joint geometry configuration controls the mode of failure of the jointed blocks and three modes of failure were identified, namely (a) tensile splitting through the intact material, (b) failure by sliding along the joint plane and/or by displacement normal to the joint plane and,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-657
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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